BOSTON (CBS) – The Patriots offseason began two weeks and one duckboat parade shorter than what fans had hoped for, and with no big game to play in now is the time to look toward the future in building a roster for 2014.
Cornerback Aqib Talib, wide receiver Julian Edelman, running back LeGarrette Blount and linebacker Brandon Spikes headline the list of their top free agents, but perhaps the biggest decision is what Bill Belichick, Nick Caserio and company plan to do with Talib.
Toucher & Rich: Big Offseason Decisions Looming For Patriots
When healthy, he is capable of shutting down the opposing team’s best wide receiver. And when he’s not healthy . . . well, we saw how that turned out against the Broncos.
Can the Patriots trust Talib to stay healthy with his chronic hip injuries and sign him long term?
Do they keep him with the franchise tag, which is expected to be north of $11 million for cornerbacks?
Or do they promote from within and go with Logan Ryan at that spot?
Julian Edelman and Aqib Talib are the Patriots’ two biggest free agent priorities, but Zolak thinks a different approach should be taken for each player.
Pick-a-Side: Patriots Free Agent Priorities
“With Julian [Edelman] I’d say go test the market and I’m franchising Talib for one year,” said Zo Tuesday morning.
“Why not do the same approach you had last year? Let him go test the market and let him bring the offer back to you?” Gresh fired back.
“For him that ups his value and almost doubles for what you’d have to pay him. I think Talib likes it here and I think he respects the coach. The coach put himself out there for what he said about Welker, and it tells you he’s defending his player – which will go a long way for Aqib”
“I think it’s just a different damn defense when he’s out there. He’s a top three corner when he’s healthy.”
Listen below for the full discussion involving the Patriots’ offseason decisions: